[Cf. F. margarique
. See Margarite
Pertaining to, or resembling, pearl; pearly. [1913 Webster]
. (a) (Physiol. Chem.) A fatty body, crystallizing in pearly scales, and obtained by digesting saponified fats (soaps) with an acid. It was formerly supposed to be an individual fatty acid, but is now known to be simply an intimate mixture of stearic and palmitic acids. (b) (Chem.) A white, crystalline substance, C17H34O2 of the fatty acid series, intermediate between palmitic and stearic acids, and obtained from the wax of certain lichens, from cetyl cyanide, and other sources. Called also heptadecanoic acid.